The richer flavor of chicken thighs benefit from more flavorful woods like hickory, corn cob or mesquite. Use about 2 tablespoons of any of the above per batch.
Trim off all the skin and cut away excess fat from the thighs before seasoning them. Or, leave the skin on and crisp the skin in a hot pan after smoking, about 3 minutes.
Season each thigh with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Smoke over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh near the bone registers 170ºF, 25 to 30 minutes after closing the smoker lid. Check for doneness with the thermometer about 15 minutes into the cooking time.
Serve right out of the smoker with salsa and your favorite coleslaw or use in another recipe.
Note: Six chicken thighs will yield about 3 cups shredded cooked meat.